Vormetric Report: 48% of Healthcare organizations Had Data Breach or Failed Compliance Audit in Past Year

By Clive Riddle, April 16, 2015

Given the Anthem health plan hack in February, and other healthcare organizations that have fallen victim to breaches as of late, surveys offering threat assessments are certainly of interest. Vormetric just released the twenty-page 2015 Vormetric Insider Threat Report, which includes healthcare industry specific data.

How does Vormetric define Insider Threats? "Insider threats are caused by a wide range of offenders who either maliciously or accidentally do things that put an organization and its data at risk. The insider threat landscape is becoming more difficult to deal with as the range of miscreants moves beyond employees and privileged IT staff. It now includes outsiders who have stolen valid user credentials; business partners, suppliers, and contractors with inappropriate access rights; and third-party service providers with excessive admin privileges. Unless properly controlled, all of these groups have the opportunity to reach inside corporate networks and steal unprotected data."

Vormetric's 2015 Insider Threat Report was conducted online by Harris Poll during fall 2014, with 818 global respondents who work full-time as an IT professional with major influence in decision making for their company’s IT. In the U.S., 408 ITDMs were surveyed among companies with at least $200 million in revenue with 102 from the health care industries, 102 from financial industries, 102 from retail industries and 102 from other industries.

Vormetric reminds us that hacker attraction to healthcare is fueled by black market “healthcare records selling for tens to hundreds of dollars, while U.S. credit card records sell for 50 cents or less.” Alan Kessler, Vormetric tells us "healthcare data has become one of the most desirable commodities for sale on black market sites, yet U.S. healthcare organizations are failing to secure that data. An overreliance on compliance requirements and a cursory nod to data protection point to systemic failures that are putting patient data at risk. What's needed is for healthcare organization to realize that compliance is not enough, and to implement the controls and policies required to put the security of their data first."

Among healthcare organization respondents to their survey, 48% encountered a data breach or failed a compliance audit in the last year. 26% of healthcare respondents reported that their organization had previously experienced a data breach. 54% reported compliance requirements as the top reason for protecting sensitive data, and 68% rated compliance as very or extremely effective at stopping insider threats and data breaches.

63 percent of healthcare IT decision makers report that their organizations are planning to increase spending to offset data threats, which was the highest of any segment or region measured in the report.

When asked about the most important reasons for securing sensitive data, the top three responses from the healthcare sector were compliance (55%), implementing best practices (44%) and reputational protection (41%). In comparison to other business sectors the compliance response was 5 percentage points above other industry averages.


Provider Networks Referral Leakage

By Claire Thayer, April 16, 2015

Containing patient referrals within a provider network is easier said than done, even with electronic health records.  According to Joel French, CEO of SCI Solutions, "more than 25 percent of orders and referrals from employed providers leak out of network."  Chief Financial Officers across the country cite referral leakage as a top concern. According to a recent survey, 51% of CFOs list reducing network leakage as the most successful methods for generating future revenue growth. 

MCOL’s infoGraphoid for this week takes a look at some of the root causes of referral leakage as well as identifies seven ways to contain the leakage:

MCOL’s weekly infoGraphoid is a benefit for MCOL Basic members and released each Wednesday as part of the MCOL Daily Factoid e-newsletter distribution service – find out more here.


Accenture Pegs 2015 Private Exchange Enrollment at 6 Million

By Clive Riddle, April 10, 2015

Accenture has released a new report on private exchange enrollment: Private Health Insurance Exchange Enrollment Doubled from 2014 to 2015, which pegs 2015 total private exhange enrollment at 6 million, up from 3 million in 2014.

Accenture forecasts that enrollment in private health insurance exchanges will grow to 12 million in 2016 and 22 million in 2017. They have gone on record projecting "total enrollment in private exchanges to ultimately surpass state and federally funded exchanges, reaching 40 million by 2018."

Here’s more on Accenture’s findings from their report:

  • Accenture concludes that midsize employers, defined as companies with 100 to 2,500 employees, contributed most to the adoption of private health exchanges increase.
  • 76 percent of consumers with employer-sponsored coverage see health insurance as a primary factor for continuing to work at their current employer
  • Accenture points out that this limits some employers’ ability to drop or defund health coverage.
  • Accenture postulates that for such employers, "private exchanges will emerge for some as a compelling model to reduce costs and administrative burden"
  • Accenture notes that private exchange enrollment is expected to accelerate in 2017 due to looming penalties for “Cadillac” Plans.
  • Accenture  also notes that market funding is growing, citing  Aetna’s bswift acquisition of bswift and Mercer’s equity investment in Benefitfocus
  • Accenture further postulates that Accenture expects that "increased compliance requirements .. will drive employers to adopt new models for managing benefits administration."

New Interactive Tool to Monitor U.S. Health Care Spending

By Claire Thayer, April 8, 2015

A week or so ago, The Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Kaiser Family Foundation unveiled a cool new interactive tool for public access to measure quality and cost components of the country's health care system on their new site, The Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker.  “This interactive tool provides up-to-date information on U.S. health spending by federal and local governments, private companies, and individuals. It was developed by analysts at the Kaiser Family Foundation using data from the National Health Expenditure Account and will be updated annually with each data release.”  Using the Health Spending Explorer interactive tool, data can be tracked as far back as 1960, with most recent data as of 2013 (which will be updated annually).  Search by single year, compare two years, or customized you own parameters.  Here are a couple of examples, comparing all types of services and hospital spending by health insurance and out-of-pocket costs in 1993 and twenty years later in 2013.

In addition to the option to use the interactive feature to create your own reports, the “Chart Collections” section has a bunch of charts and supporting slide decks to choose from:

Drilling down to the question of “How do health expenditures vary across the population?” here are a couple of related supporting slides available for download:

In addition to the interactive tool and chart collections, The Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker site provides access to their Insight Briefs and regular blogs.


Healthcare Startups Capitalizing on the Sharing Economy and More

By Clive Riddle, April 1, 2015

These five healthcare lists – courtesy of healthsprocket - should be of great interest today –addressing the sharing economy; King v Burwell; upcoming M&A transactions; headlines you might have missed; and hot innovation initiatives:

Healthcare Startups Capitalizing on the Sharing Economy and More

  1. Uberlance - provide on-demand ambulance services with your SUV
  2. Airpital - rent out your spare rooms for hospital services
  3. PatientGrades - site for doctors to rate their patients
  4. TeleCrowd - crowdsourcing telemedicine - vote on patient's diagnosis & treatment
  5. AirRx - Start a Mail Order Pharmacy with your unused prescriptions

Five Possible Outcomes for SCOTUS King v Burwell Decision

  1. To avoid split tie decision, Scalia and Ginsberg thumb wrestle to settle matter
  2. Court disallows federal funding in states using, with farmer exemption allowing combined corn/healthplan subsidy
  3. Court strikes down Obamacare - Congress passes emergency band-aid bill providing monthly lottery tickets and band-aids to uninsured
  4. Court rules federal subsidies may continue, but not via - strict interpretation requires actual physical marketplace with pop-up tents
  5. Court keeps Obamacare intact - Congress authorizes funding of time travel - terminator cyborg to go back to 2010 and prevent passage of ACA

Four Upcoming Blockbuster Healthcare M&A Transactions to Watch For

  1. UnitedHealthcare acquires states of Florida and Arizona to increase Medicare marketshare
  2. J&J acquires actual cloud covering east coast for cloud-based pharma initiatives - relocates cloud to reduce future employee snow days
  3. Company formerly known as WellPoint acquires copyright to Star Spangled Banner as part of re-branding company as "National Anthem"
  4. HCA acquires Carnival Cruise Lines to create new medical tourism fleet

Important Healthcare Headlines You Might Have Missed

  1. German government delays renown U.S. Clinic's expansion to Hamburg and Frankfurt - puts Mayo on hold
  2. In nod to digital age, doctor offices now feature e-versions of past magazines in patient lobbies using refurbished Apple Newton tablets
  3. Red Cross licenses use of name to Blue Cross Blue Shield plans wishing to re-brand insurance products in Republican states
  4. Concerns mount with new obesity management procedure converting unused part of brain to second stomach
  5. GAO investigation uncovers missing "M" in Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services acronym

Hot Healthcare Innovation Initiatives

  1. Implantable chip sends you text message letting you know when your knee hurts
  2. McDonalds / CMS partnership pairing choice of Value Meal with each Value-Based payment
  3. Exercise treadmills installed in fast food line queues
  4. StubHub-like app to auction your doctor appointment time
  5. Starbucks Pharmacies dispensing your daily prescription with your latte

The lists provided in Healthsprocket’s annual April 1st edition of the SprocketRocket newsletter. If you’d like to check out similar lists from previous April 1st editions, click here